Blogs from Ahotokurom, Central, Ghana, Africa

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Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom June 1st 2009

Term 3 began two weeks ago and I started properly in my new school in Simiw. I had arrived before the end of the last term but time was taken up with revision and exams. With JHS3 no longer in school, (they sit their final exams after the second term) I’ve been left with Form 1 and 2 for their final term. I’ll be able to see out the best part of the term as we’re flying home two days before term ends. As it happens we recently got an email stating that our flight times have changed and we’ve now got longer stop-overs tacking about three hours onto our flight. Fantastic. Being the first Ahoto volunteer in Simiw - and the first white teacher in the school - there is a great buzz around the ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom April 11th 2009

Now that we’ve gotten that bit more used to the amount of walking we have to do and acclimatised to the weather we’ve found ourselves straying away from the usual - collapse on the couch from exhaustion - routine which usually followed work. We never realised how much there was to be seen until we started venturing out a bit more. For the first month or so we didn’t even know the name of the closest neighbouring village to our home of Abee. Across the recently built bridge over the Sweet River lies a village called Amisano. Before the bridge was built the journey from Abee to Amisano could take more than twenty minutes but now takes a mere two. It has become a valuable asset to both communities as trade between them is far more ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom March 19th 2009

There are many things I feel you haven’t really experienced until you’ve experienced them in Ghana. Top of that list would have to be mass. Ghana is still a very religious country and to be fair, they do it far better than we do. Our welcoming mass in the small church in Ahoto was our first expierence of what we would call a relatively short service. Presided over by Fr. Philip (our Fanti teacher) the mass, including our welcoming ceremony, was a mere two hours or so. A number of things extend the length of mass here; when shaking hands to show peace everybody walks around the church shaking hands with anyone they recognise and even stopping for a quick chat, secondly there is the fact that certain parts are translated into English as well as ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom February 24th 2009

It took all of 3 weeks but we've finally found an internet cafe in the area with a respectable connection. I was getting worried when a few of the group had a bad experience in Cape Coast, the former Ghanaian capital, waiting an hour for three pages to load. Happily, we've found a relatively reliable spot in nearby Elmina in which we can stay in touch with the world. As for the past 3 weeks, I've forgotten more about them than I would like. The first week and a half (our induction period) is one big blur with trips here and there, seeing as much of the area as possible before Mark (our Dad, brother and cool uncle all in one) had to return to Limerick. I'll start at the beginning. The flight was long but ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom January 27th 2009

"Why not Ghana?" Alan asked me. The following five minutes of that conversation, at the back of an English lecture, were all it took for him to convince me that I wanted to spend my six months of work placement in Africa volunteering in a school. I had no idea where in Africa Ghana actually was, didn't know what work we would be doing and was only positive of one thing.... I would burn quite badly in the searing African sun. But Alan’s enthusiasm and passion about the opportunity were all it took to convince me. (Alan was in Zambia a few years ago so his first hand experience of the continent was helpful…. Plus I think he used some form of hypnotism on me - I walked into a lecture thinking of going to Argentina, ... read more

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom September 22nd 2007

Once again, Ghana’s internet is proving something of a lightweight, not being able to stand up to the African heat. One of the excuses for the computers being down last year was that it was too hot! We tried a few times this visit to write a blog, but eventually gave up, this is being written in the less tropical surroundings of Catford, London. Last year we spent nearly two months in Ghana, staying at a leprosy rehabilitation centre called Ahotokurom, meaning “Place of Serenity” in Fante, the local language. One of the nuns who runs the centre, Sister Pat, is a long term friend of Claire’s mum. We returned this year for just a couple of weeks to see how the friends that we’ve made are getting on, and to bring Janet, Claire’s mum, over ... read more
Outside Joseph's house
Andrea - Joseph's Sister
Kweku, Chelsea, Helen and Joseph

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom September 10th 2006

Well, it's been a long time since our last blog entry! We've tried a few times, but internet access has been so difficult in Ghana we've waited till we got to Dubai to add this. Either the internet has been so slow as to be useless, or the keyboard has had most of the letters rubbed off, or the symbols written on the keys bear no relation to the symbol that appears on the screen, or the best explanation we've heard for the non-availability of service has been the weather. The internet in Ghana apparently doesn't like it too hot!! Luckily the web in Dubai is obviously made of sterner stuff, and is prepared to brave the 37C and 50% humidity, for probably longer than we are, in the non-airconditioned internet cafe just round from our ... read more
Danni and Jennifer (front)
In The Jungle, the Mighty Jungle
On the lake

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom August 9th 2006

We unexpectedly find ourselves back in the UK. Claire's dad, Peter, has been taken seriously ill, and we've returned for two weeks to see him and to support Claire's mum, Janet. He's been very unwell for some years and this is the latest in a number of setbacks. Although he is terminally ill, he seems fairly stable for the moment, and we hope to return to Ghana on the 19th. These two weeks back also give us a chance to reflect on our experiences in Ghana, and to update this blog, internet access not being that convenient or reliable near where we were staying! Ghana is the least developed place we've ever been to. Poverty is all around, even more so than in Goa. There, mass tourism hasn't eliminated poverty in the least, but has provided ... read more
Peculiar Child Academy!
Outside our room
Scorpion!!

Africa » Ghana » Central » Ahotokurom July 31st 2006

We have been in Ghana for a week now and still feel as if we have entered a different world. A bit of history about the place we are staying: A few miles away there is a hospital which used to be specifically for leprosy patients. Just after WW2, some of the patients on long term treatment started squatting in the nearby disused army camp, (Ankaful camp) partly to save the journey to and from their villages as they came from all over west Africa, and partly because the stigma of leprosy meant that they were not welcome back in their homes and villages. The abandoned army camp provided little more than basic shelter and therefore the people lived in very poor conditions. This prompted a visiting American monk, Brother Vincent, to try to build a ... read more
The Quads!
Sister Pat, Claire and baby Rose - we think!
Carrying baby the African way!




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